Britain-based new face Oli Lacey was scouted in the shoe department of Topshop on Oxford Street in August 2011 and has since signed with top agencies in London, New York, Paris, and Hamburg. He walked exclusively for Calvin Klein for Fall 2013, has graced the pages of Carbon Copy and D-Section magazines, and just yesterday, began London menswear shoes for Spring 2014. We managed to catch up with Oli to talk about studying, Calvin Klein, what he's obsessed with right now, and more ...
The Fashion Law– How old are you and what's your nationality?
Oli Lacey– I’m 21 years old and British.
The Fashion Law– Business today is so much about branding. Do you feel like models are brands?
Oli Lacey– I definitely think there are a number of models at the top who are "brands," but I’d say the vast majority aren’t. Models are there to represent the brands and embody their vision, yes, but I think very few are "brands" themselves.
The Fashion Law– How do you think you are different from other models?
Oli Lacey– In terms of the way I look, I guess I am a lot like most other models, but I think maybe I differ in that because I’m studying, too. Modeling isn’t my main focus (for now at least). So, I’m really taking it all as it comes.
The Fashion Law– What did you think of modeling before you got started?
Oli Lacey– I really didn’t know much about it at all. To say there has been a big learning curve would be an understatement! I’m lucky that I had some good friends in the industry beforehand, though, who have been a big help. There are times when it’s exactly like the stereotypes suggest, but equally there are times when it’s totally different to how I maybe would have expected; you spend a lot of time on your own and it can be quite hard, for example. There really is a lot more to it than meets the eye!
The Fashion Law– What has been the highlight of modeling for you so far? Is there a specific job you loved?
Oli Lacey– This may sound a bit cliche, but in all honesty I’ve had a great time on every job I’ve done so far, however big or small. If I were really pressed to pick one job in particular, I would definitely have to say the week I spent in Milan for the Calvin Klein exclusive in January; the whole team is great, whether stylists, assistants, hair/makeup, directors, other models. We all had a blast and I’ll always remember (and be thankful for) that.
The Fashion Law– Do you think there are any downsides to modeling?
Oli Lacey– Yes, there are times when it can be difficult. Sometimes I’m away and miss out on friends’ birthdays or great parties back at home or at University, but then I have to think that at the end of the day, I’m very lucky to be doing what I’m doing, and not to dwell on it. Not everyone gets this opportunity. It is also very spontaneous; for example, waiting to hear whether I'm confirmed on an option when the job is shooting abroad in the next few days can make things tricky, but definitely keeps you on your toes. I’m still getting to grips with forward planning.
The Fashion Law– Is there a particular designer or design house that you absolutely want to work with?
Oli Lacey– I’d love to work with Calvin Klein some more in the future. They have a great vibe. It would also be sick to work with Hermes or Givenchy. They’re both very cool brands. In all honesty, though, I’m up for working with anyone and everyone!
The Fashion Law – What do you like to do when you're not traveling and working?
Oli Lacey– I’m actually studying for a degree in Politics in Nottingham (2 hours or so away from London) and to be honest, I love it there. I’ve made a great deal of very close friends and we have a lot of fun. I try to keep active, as well; I like the gym, I play a bit of football and tennis, too. When I can, I love to go snowboarding in the French Alps.
The Fashion Law– Where do you see yourself in the next several years?
Oli Lacey– For the next year, I aim to get my head down and do well at university, alongside the modeling. However, after I finish I’d love to go full time for a while, perhaps travel around a bit and test the markets. If I could, I’d love to go on a contract to the Far East - everyone speaks very highly of Beijing and Tokyo! Working in New York for a while would be great too if it were possible. Really I’d just want to continue to model for as long as it’s possible, then after that I’ll consider what it is I’d like to do instead.
The Fashion Law – What are you obsessed with right now?
Oli Lacey– I am completely obsessed with my Yellow Labrador puppy, Honey. She’s now 20 weeks old and when I’m not at university, I happily spend all day playing with her. She’s the best. I’m also an avid Arsenal fan. So, wherever I am I’ll always try to catch the games and keep up to date with the latest news.